IBJNews

United Way expects to cut grants despite record fundraising

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

United Way of Central Indiana likely will reduce allocations to nearly 100 area not-for-profits despite a record-breaking fundraising campaign.

The Indianapolis-based organization on Tuesday projected a 2012 campaign total of $41 million, exceeding the previous year’s record by almost $250,000. But as more donors earmark their gifts for specific purposes, United Way has less available for the operational grants they award to address community needs.

The group has warned member agencies to plan for funding cuts later this year.

A final tally likely is months away, longtime CEO Ellen Annala told IBJ. The fundraising estimate is based on totals provided by companies with employee-giving campaigns, but UWCI officials don’t know details of individual donations yet.

Still, Annala said so-called designated gifts have increased every year as donors look to have more control over how their money is spent. Last year, such donations represented more than 20 percent of the funds raised.

The practice "challenges United Way's need for unrestricted funds to invest throughout the region,” Annala said in a prepared statement.

Annala, who retired this week after 23 years with the organization and was greeted with a standing ovation at its annual meeting Tuesday afternoon, has been tracking the trend for years. She said the local group still is better off than its counterparts on the coasts, where restricted gifts make up as much as 80 percent of donations.

Designated gifts are held separately from UWCI’s unrestricted Community Impact Fund, used to support member agencies in Indianapolis and five surrounding counties. In central Indiana, the earmarked donations represent additional funding for the intended recipients—over and above their United Way grants.

Some organizations could get more than expected, but UWCI nevertheless has warned its nearly 100 member agencies to plan for funding cuts later this year.

“I start warning agencies months in advance,” Annala said, “but I think we can still do most of what we want to get done.”

That’s a much better outlook than a few months ago, when she wasn’t sure the organization would meet its $40.8 million campaign goal, let alone surpass it.

UWCI is working to address the problem over the long term, Annala said, including shifting its marketing strategy appeal to individuals, rather than businesses.

“We need to do a better job of connecting people with our mission,” she said.

That task now falls to President and CEO Ann Murtlow, the former Indianapolis Power & Light chief who started work Monday. Annala will work part time for a couple months to ease her transition.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

ADVERTISEMENT